Okay, I think I know what you're talking about. Lava in 18w15a has a wierd lighting glitch that seems to decrease the saturation. I don't think this is intentional and I don't think either of us should have to worry about it.
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My avatar is a texture from a small block game I made in Python. It's not very good and it probably won't work if you install it.
I'm very alone in my Minecraft worlds as I don't have a very good internet connection to run a server. If you're like me, you might be interested in my Posse mod suggestion.